31 October 2018

MyHeritage DNA policy change coming 1 December

Are you doing all you can to find DNA matches? It means exploiting as many databases as possible.

MyHeritage, a relative newcomer in the field have welcomed uploads of autosomal test data from other companies for free. As of 1 December 2018 while DNA matching for new uploads will remain free additional DNA features, ethnicity estimates and a chromosome browser, will require an extra payment for uploaded files.

DNA data that is uploaded now and prior to December 1, 2018 will continue to enjoy full access to all DNA features for free. These uploads will be grandfathered in and will remain free.

In other news, previously MyHeritage did not support the upload of tests based on the chip called GSA (Global Screening Array), that is used by 23andMe (V5), and by Living DNA. Recent improvements at MyHeritage now support 23andMe V5 and Living DNA data uploads, in addition to data uploads from all major DNA testing services, including Ancestry, 23andMe (up to V5) and Family Tree DNA (Family Finder).

1926 Census Update from LAC

The following is from a news release by Library and Archives Canada

The 1926 Census of the Prairie Provinces database is on its way!

Statistics Canada has transferred the 1926 Census of Prairie Provinces, which contains over 45,000 pages, to Library and Archives Canada. Over the summer, we concluded an agreement with FamilySearch to index the thousands of census entries so Canadians can find the material on our website easily.

FamilySearch has completed the indexing and is now proceeding with quality control. On December 1, they will send us the index and we will start building our new database. The Census database will consist of a free searchable index as well as the digitized images from the 1926 Census of Prairie Provinces.

We expect to have an online database by March 2019. 

Read the full release here

Comment:  Well done FamilySearch and its volunteer indexers.

British Newspaper Archives additions for October

The British Newspaper Archive now has a total of 28,391,968 pages online (27,698,424 last month.) 45 papers had pages added in the past month including 16 titles new to the site..

Major additions, titles with more than 10,000 pages added during the month were.

Belfast Telegraph1172361921, 1923-1925, 1927-1929, 1931-1934, 1936-1950, 1952-1962
Liverpool Echo1139121890, 1906-1910, 1912, 1919-1936, 1948-1954, 1959, 1969
Irish Independent599221916, 1920, 1942, 1950, 2003, 2006
Drogheda Independent597861890-1894, 1896-1923, 1951-1955, 1960-1980, 1984-1985, 1988-1998
Wexford People523841853-1896, 1907-1908, 1917, 1987-1993
Wicklow People366421977-1985, 2002-2005
Western Mail345121924-1926, 1948-1951, 1953-1958
Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser313561858, 1862, 1899-1957
The Bioscope268501925-1932
Broad Arrow196401868-1869, 1871-1877, 1914-1917

Once again Ireland is the emphasis accounting for 59% of the pages from the major additions above added during the month.

Other publications with pages added are:  Drogheda Argus and Leinster Journal; Poole & Dorset Herald; Gloucestershire Chronicle; Newcastle Journal; Evening Herald (Dublin); War Office Times and Naval Review; Tavistock Gazette; Scottish Referee; Social Gazette; Deliverer and Record of Salvation Army Rescue Work; Birmingham Weekly Post; New Crusader; Heywood Advertiser; Landswoman; Norwood News; Congleton & Macclesfield Mercury and Cheshire General Advertiser; Surrey Advertiser; Ally Sloper's Half Holiday; Newport & Market Drayton Advertiser; Croydon Chronicle and East Surrey Advertiser; N.T.F. In Aid Of British Prisoners; Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser; Cumberland & Westmorland Herald; The Showman; Tit-bits; Henley & South Oxford Standard; Sports Argus; Westmorland Advertiser and Kendal Chronicle; Lakes Chronicle and Reporter; War Savings; Silver Bullet; West Middlesex Herald; Todmorden Advertiser and Hebden Bridge Newsletter; Irish Citizen; Lakes Herald.

30 October 2018

BIFHSGO Conference Presentation Videos Online for Members

Perhaps you were at the BIFHSGO conference but unable to be in two places at once. Or maybe you're a BIFHSGO member who was unable to be at the conference. Whichever, the power of your membership is the ability to travel back in time to view video recordings of all the conference presentations.

You do have to be a BIFHSGO member, and sign in on the website.

Tracing a Scottish Regiment over Three Countries (Sam Allison) 
Who Are the Scots? Not Celts! (Bruce Durie)   
Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda: A Look at Ethics in Genetic Genealogy (Diahan Southard)
Leaving a Legacy: Creating a Family History Book (Lynn Palermo) NOTE: poor audio quality due to microphone issue
Wills, Testaments, Inventories and Retours: Inheritance in Scotland (Bruce Durie)   
Back to 18th Century Scotland with Autosomal DNA (Linda Reid)
The Combined Power of Y-DNA and Autosomal DNA (Diahan Southard)
Finding Your Ancestors with FamilySearch (Shirley-Ann Pyefinch) 
Genes and Genealogy: Is Surname a Good Predictor of Ethnic Origin? (Bruce Durie) 
The Wonders of WikiTree: Adventures in Collaborative Genealogy (Leanne Cooper) 
A Day Out with Your DNA (Diahan Southard) 
Scottish Funeral Customs and Death Records (Sadie De Finney)
Regular and Irregular Marriages in Scotland Before 1834 (Bruce Durie) 
If I Had to Do it Over Again (Lynn Palermo) 
How DNA Made a Family Out of Strangers (Diahan Southard) 

FCOA: AGM 2018 and City Archivist Report

Sunday afternoon was the occasion for the AGM of the Friends of the City of Ottawa Archives. Preceding was an entertaining (and substantive) presentation by Wes Darou on the Orange Order in the National Capital Region.

There were more than enough members in attendance for a quorum. Two amendments to the by-laws were approved, reports accepted and a full slate of board members elected. The following report was presented by City Archivist, Paul J. Henry, CA

2018 has been a busy year for the Archives.

This year, we continued to transfer municipal records from off-site storage, previously identified in the system as “manual only”, made complicated by the fact that no extent stats were available to aid either our work-planning or our space prognostication. We have also begun the process of temporarily transferring boxes which arrived at the Archives in 2014 as part of the omnibus transfer, back through Information Management to have them catalogued in our Records Management System. The goal, of course, is to have every civic record documented at the file level and discoverable by City and Archives staff alike.

Continuous disposition authorities were issued for new or changed records classifications for civic-generated records, both paper and electronic, allowing automation of records transfer to the Archives to continue, and of course, routine disposition. In all, the backlog of civic records appraisal work, is proceeding at the expected pace.

Staff remain committed to reviewing existing practices to find efficiencies in transfer, processing, and providing access to collections. We review our policies and procedures annually, and develop new guidelines to address emerging issues, or approach new ideas in a thoughtful and documented way.

Work is also progressing in private records acquisition. Records now available online through the Ottawa Museum and Archives Collections portal stand at over 50,000 catalogue records, including just under 20,000 images, and over 3,000 books.

In support of documentation planning and analysis, this year we remained engaged with small archives, historical societies, and community organizations in the preservation of historical community records.  Last year, as I mentioned, we endorsed the new Provincial Acquisitions Strategy, adopted in 2016 by the Archives Association of Ontario, and remain in the forefront of transparent private record appraisal practice.

It has been an incredible year for exhibitions at the Archives. We launched our first mobile app, Time Traveller, available for Android and iOS, that places you in events of the past, with images from the Archives and engaging vignettes and stories that tell residents, visitors, and indeed, the whole world about Ottawa.

The Barbara Ann Scott Gallery is our second permanent exhibition space, located at City Hall. Skate with me, the Barbara Ann Scott story, closed in June after a six year run, so that we could reinvent the Gallery. Opening in August, Postcards from Ottawa embraces the Archives’ storytelling mandate with dozens of new stories from Ottawa’s past, through artifacts and images. We are honoured that our partners, both Algonquin first nations, worked with us to ensure that the indigenous story — one which is always with us — is told to new audiences. Cultural artifacts, and text in Algonquin, English, and French bring the narrative alive. And the story of the Nishiyuu Walkers is also told, and with it, our fourth language — Cree.

Work on many small exhibitions and displays, throughout the City, continues at the Archives' Hockey exhibition at Canadian Tire Centre, and City Hall with additions to the Mayor's Gift collection display and the Sports Hall of Fame, and of course at the Archives’ Gallery 112 here at Tallwood. 

While staff add more records and photographs to the Ottawa Museums and Archives collections database, interest in our online digital offerings continues with our content partners, Ancestry.ca. Last year, over 1.5 million unique page views were logged by Ancestry's servers, up 722,000 from the year previous.

And I would be remiss if I did not mention several staffing changes at the Archives. Claire Sutton won the competition for Assistant Archivist, a new professional position, which assists the archivists with appraisal and a concentration on arrangement and description. Filling her vacant position in Reference is Olga Zeale, our former Education Officer. As I started with one, then two vacancies, and now have two vacancies, expect more staffing changes in the coming months.

In conclusion, I'd like to thank the Friends of the Archives for their continued support of the programs and initiatives of the Archives and welcome future opportunities to work together. Your collaboration helps make all of this possible.

OGS November Webinar: Tammy Tipler-Priolo

Thursday, November 1, 2018 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Presentation: Franco-Ontarians History & Genealogy
Presenter: Tammy Tipler-Priolo

Franco-Ontarians have their roots deep within the lands called Ontario. Their proud heritage has been celebrated for hundreds of years. This lecture will cover the history of Francophones in Ontario, as well as what records are available to conduct genealogical research for this part of Ontario's society today. Whether you can speak French or not does not matter, as once you learn the basics of French records you will see that it can be an enjoyable journey researching the Francophone past.

Register here

29 October 2018

LAC at the 38th Ottawa Antiquarian Book Fair

Likely owing to the snow, unusual for the Book Fair, the space at Tudor Hall in Ottawa was not as crowded as in previous years I've attended.  It didn't mean viewing was that much easier as people lingered to examine the volumes on offer.

I was tempted by a brochure about the Empress of Canada, the ship which brought me to Canada.

Library and Archives Canada was present to publicize the activity by which LAC aims to acquire material published in Canada or abroad by Canadian authors, editors, translators, illustrators or interpreters, or on a subject related to Canada. Naturally duplicates of material already in the collection are not needed.
Learn more about the acquisitions program at www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/about-us/about-collection/Pages/gifts-archives-published-materials.aspx/.

IGRS adds 14,000 names to its Early Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes

The following is a news release from the Irish Genealogical Research Society

Great news from the Irish IGRS. An additional 7,000 records have been uploaded to the Society's Early Irish Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes, a unique collection of life event references from lesser-used and obscure sources. The update delivers 14,000 names, creating a new total names count for the three indexes of 274,000.

This latest tranche of data includes references to many deaths culled from Irish newspapers. One poignant news item relates to the partial collapse of a Music Hall located in Fishamble Street, to the rear of Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin. A meeting of the Trade Guild of St Luke, which combined the city’s cutlers, painters, paper-stainers and stationers, was being held to nominate a candidate to stand for election to parliament. The room was about 20 feet above ground and was crowded with somewhere between 300 and 400 men. The thunderous applause and stamping of feet eventually caused one of the main support beams to give way and the entire body of men disappeared into the depths of the building below.

Máire Kennedy, former Librarian at Dublin’s Gilbert Library, says this of the event in her Blog: “Nobody seems to have been killed outright, but at least eleven people died shortly afterwards of their injuries. Many were carried to their homes stretched on doors, or taken in sedan chairs. Dublin’s medical personnel must have been under severe strain that afternoon and evening with so many casualties. Faulkner’s Dublin Journal reports that the sight of the maimed being carried through the streets caused the greatest consternation in the city. Finn’s Leinster Journal informs us that few escaped without severe injury and many were in a ‘situation that made death desirable’. The Hibernian Magazine predicted that many of the injured ‘will exhibit melancholy monuments, to perpetuate the memory of this dreadful event, by the loss of their legs and arms”.
From Walkers Hibernian Magazine we learn the names of some of those who died of their injuries: Mr Taylor, High street; Mr Deey, Attorney; Mr Byrne, cutler; Mr McMahon, Abbey Street; Mr Pemberton, Capel Street, Mr Johnson, Cutpurse-row; Mr Shaw, Essex-bridge; Mr Scot, Joseph’s-lane; and Mr Dobson, Capel Street.

Also included in this update are 850 references to marriages sourced from the Registry of Deeds. "Many of these marriage references came from formal marriage settlements, but which were hidden by the manner of their inclusion in the contemporary index volumes," notes Roz McCutcheon, the IGRS Early Irish Indexes creator and manager. "Including them in this index probably shines the first light on their existence in two hundred or more years.” Marriage settlements can be extremely illuminating documents about family relationships and alliances. For instance, one registered in November 1759 notes that Nicholas Biddulph was to marry Elizabeth Dempsey, the daughter of Charles Dempsey; the groom was to be given employment by the bride’s father; and that Nicholas had a brother called Francs who resided at Stradbally, in Queens (Laois) county. Other relatives of the bride named were Samuel Dempsey, noted as a clerk to another man also called Charles Dempsey, assumedly cousins.
You can search the databases here:
Marriage Index      – Free to all
Birth Index              – Name search only for non-members
Death Index             – Name search only for non-members

Two Year Trends in Genealogical Society Website Popularity

Long time readers will perhaps recall that for several years I followed the month to month popularity of various genealogy websites according to Alexa. It ranks website traffic stats, so the lower the rank the more traffic. While I came to the conclusion that month to month variation was mostly noise I've gone back to see how current Alexa ranking compare to those two years ago.

There are some minor changes in the order. The top ranked site remains so, second and third have switched places as have the sites with the least and second least traffic. With more societies choosing to communicate on social media website rankings are arguably less significant.

28 October 2018

Althea Douglas RIP

DOUGLAS, Althea Cleveland (McCoy) McGill U., M.N.I., IMAX 1926-2018

On October 21, 2018 at Ottawa, ON in her 91st year. Predeceased by her husband of 58 years (m. February 28, 1948), J. Creighton Douglas. Only daughter of the late George E. and "Nan" (Chapman) McCoy of Moncton, N.B., Toronto and Montreal. She is survived by her good friend and sister-in-law Margaret Douglas of Sutton, QC, nephew Dr. David Douglas (Shelley) of Navan, ON, and nieces Deb Armstrong (Dr. Don) of Guelph, ON and Sharon Westbrook (John) of Ottawa, ON. Also survived by seven great-nieces and nephews; Meghan, Jessica, Stephanie, Lisa, Brittany, Trevor and Douglas. Born in Moncton, NB, Althea grew up in Toronto, attending Branksome Hall School. Her family moved to Montreal where she received her B.Sc. and M.A. degrees from McGill University, married and lived in that city for over 30 years. For 10 years she enjoyed herself as a costume designer in Montreal and New York, then changed careers and became an associate editor with the Burney Project at McGill University. This meant research in England, the U.S. and France. Later, as archivist of the Dr. Wilder Penfield Collection at the Montreal Neurological Institute, she served researchers from the other side of the desk. In the process, she became a genealogist and was certified by The Genealogical Institute of the Maritimes (Canada) in 1989. In 1981 her husband joined IMAX Corp., moving to Toronto where Althea was soon contracted as a technical writer and editor at IMAX. She is the author of numerous articles on genealogy, local Canadian history and heritage conservation. She and her husband collaborated on Canadian Railway Records: A Guide for Genealogists published by the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) in 1994, an expanded and revised edition of which came out in 2004. After moving to Ottawa where she worked as a professional genealogist, Althea continued to write. OGS published 3 books of genealogical advice, others on conservation and Genealogy, Geography and Maps (OGS, 2006) - probably her favorite. Finding Your Ancestors in English Quebec was published by Heritage Productions in 2001, Finding Your Ancestors in New Brunswick in 2002, and Research at the Library and Archives Canada in 2003 with several revisions in subsequent years. Her last book was A Time Traveller's Handbook- A Guide to the Past (published by Dundurn /OGS in 2011). Always the archivist, her later years were devoted to sorting and finding homes for family letters and documents accumulated over several generations as well as files and books from her own varied career.

The above paragraphs were written by Althea in August 2014 using her motto "On the principle that if you want it done right, do it yourself!" To carry on from this however, we would like to add that Althea was a unique soul. She was smart as a whip, with a quick wit and an enviable memory right to the end. She and Creighton were a perfect match and shared a love of travel and the arts - visual, theatre, music, the ballet (not the opera!). While she had very fond memories of the various places they lived, she was immensely proud of her New Brunswick roots and her cottage in Brulé held a very special place in her heart. Althea moved from her home in Ottawa to a retirement residence in 2015. We are grateful to the staff for the care she received. The family will hold a private graveside service at a later date. Should you wish to make a donation in Althea's memory we invite you to consider Habitat for Humanity, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and the Alzheimer Society Canada. Condolences/Tributes/Donations Hulse, Playfair & McGarry www.hpmcgarry.ca 613-233-1143

From the Ottawa Citizen, 27 October 2018

Sunday Sundries: Halloween Special

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Divining the Witch of York: Propaganda and Prophecy
Thanks to Brenda Turner for the tip.

Older than Dracula: in search of the English vampire

Grave Week from Atlas Obscura
From Herschel Island to the Namibian Desert and Beyond


BitTorrent: Voltage Pictures and the Massive Mass Litigation Mess in Canada
From Excess Copyright, reverse class action lawsuit gets a rough legal ride.

Ancestry.com Is In Cahoots With Public Records Agencies, A Group Suspects

Signatures: the Magazine of Library and Archives Canada
The theme of the Fall/Winter 2018 issue of Signatures is acquisitions of all types, including those that bolster LAC’s claim to be “Canada’s memory”: archives, government records and publications.

27 October 2018

Last Minute Notice: Ottawa Antiquarian Book Fair

This annual event, the 38th, takes place on Sunday 28 October, 10:30 am - 5:00 pm at Tudor Hall, 3750 North Bowesville Road. It showcases products like unusual and collectible books on the arts and architecture early printed books modern first editions voyages, travel and exploration science and medicine illustrated children’s books military history historical documents and ephemera and much more. The fair will include over 40,000 items, dating from the 15th century to the present day, displayed by 40 dealers from across Canada and the United States.

Last Minute: Not Fade Away: Digitizing and Preserving Family Photographs

Today, 27 October at 1:30 pm , Kyla Ubbink will present her popular talk “Not Fade Away: Digitizing and Preserving Family Photographs”.

“Keeping and digitizing family photographs can be a monumental challenge. From long term care to digitization, this talk will focus on storage solutions; as well as, digitization techniques and maintaining digital files.”

It's hosted by the North Goulbourn Township Historical Society – 1637 Stittsville Main, Stittsville, ON.

The same presentation being offered by the Ottawa Public Library on 7 November already has a waiting list.

Staffordshire, London/Middlesex and Waterford records added to Findmypast

There are over 461,000 new records and newspapers available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:

Staffordshire, Dioceses of Lichfield & Coventry Marriage Allegations and Bonds, 1636-1893
Over 13,000 additional records have been added to the FMP collection of Dioceses Of Lichfield & Coventry Marriage Allegations and Bonds, 1636-1893. The new additions cover the years 1632 to 1941 and include images of the original documents showing age, marriage date, marriage location, occupation status, parish, and spouse's personal details.

The collection covers the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, which includes Staffordshire, Derbyshire, north Shropshire, and north and east Warwickshire, from 1636 to 1836 and from 1836 to 1876, covers the diocese of Lichfield, which includes Staffordshire and north Shropshire.

London & Middlesex Registers & Records
More than 3,000 pages of aldermen, freeman, and criminal records along with parish registers from Chapel of Holy Trinity and St Nicholas Acons. The collection includes the following titles:

Aldermen of The City of London, Vols I & II, published 1913
Criminal Chronology, or The Newgate Calendar Vols II & IV, published 1809-10
Decisions of The Court of King's Bench Upon Settlement Cases
Parish Registers of Chapel of Holy Trinity, Knightsbridge – Marriages
Parish Registers of St Nicholas Acons, City of London, published 1890
Register of Freemen of the City of London, published 1908

Many if not all of these are available elsewhere on the web without need to a subscription.

Waterford Poor Law Union Board Of Guardians Minute Books
Discover your Irish ancestry through searching the Waterford board of guardian minute books. Exclusively available on Findmypast, the collection contains more than 229,000 and covers the Waterford Union. New records from other unions across will be added in the future. With each result, you will be able to view a transcript of the vital details such as names, ages, birth years, location and event dates as well as an image of the original minute book. Images will provide you with a variety of additional details such as the reasons for inclusion in the board of guardians' minutes.

The board of guardians were responsible for the administration and operation of the workhouse and poor relief. The minutes of each weekly meeting recorded how many men and women were housed in the workhouse, how many were discharged or died, and the number of births. They would have also recorded the expenditures of the workhouse along with the names of the workhouse suppliers. Outdoor relief was also noted in the weekly minutes.

Pre-Confederation King’s and Queen’s Counsel appointments in Canada

A blog post by Rebecca Murray points to what is surely one of the more obscure of Library and Archives Canada's holdings of family history interest.
Prior to Confederation in 1867 lawyers were appointed King's or Queen's Counsel by Letters Patent. The blog documents a six-step search process leading to a legal document with the name, date and place where the appointment was registered.


26 October 2018

FreeBMD October Update

The FreeBMD Database was last updated on Friday 26 October 2018 to contain 270,192,384 distinct records (269,659,365 at previous update).

Years with updates of more than 5,000 records are for births 1963-64, 1978, 1980-83; for marriages 1965-66, 1980, 1982; for deaths 1980-83, 1985.

TheGenealogist adds BT27 Outbound Passenger List records for the 1950s

TheGenealogist just added over 4 million individuals to their BT27 Outbound Passenger Lists collection documenting departures from the UK to destinations across the seas such as the USA, Canada, India, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere.

These fully indexed ship passenger records can be searched by name, year, country of departure, country of arrival, port of embarkation and port of destination. The linked images of the original documents include the ages, occupations, addresses and where the passengers intended to make their permanent residences.

The records, available as part of the Diamond Subscription at TheGenealogist, are also at Findmypast and Ancestry. Not (yet?) at MyHeritage.

25 October 2018

Links to Live-streamed GGI2018 DNA Lectures

Maurice Gleeson writes that the videos from the Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2018 presentations last weekend will be going up on the YouTube channel over the course of the next several weeks.

In the meantime this post links to the live-streamed videos on the GGI Facebook group. Just click a link to view the live-streamed recording of the lecture. You will be prompted to join the GGI Facebook group if you haven't joined already.

Catching up on blog comments

Now back in Ottawa, awake at 4 am and looking to the comments that came on the blog but for which I didn't get notified. There were over 600.  So far I've looked at those back to 2015 and posted most.  I screened out lots of offers of loans and other "services" as spam.

Regrets to those who commented asking for feedback to which which I was unable to respond.

I still don't know why some, so many, were missed. A reminder to check each week is now on my to do list.

Ottawa Branch OGS October Meeting

Ottawa Branch will make another try this Saturday, 27 October at a twice aborted presentation

The Casualty Identification Program: Identifying the remains of unknown Canadian soldiers from the First World War: 

"The Casualty Identification Program aims to identify the newly discovered skeletal remains of Canadian service members. The process involves many disciplines, including: archaeology, history, forensic anthropology, genealogy and DNA analysis, amongst others. The talk will present one of the Program’s recent successful cases where the remains were buried in August 2017; one was successfully identified. The limits encountered by the Program will also be discussed as well as its practices for inconclusive cases in the hopes that identification may be possible in the future."

Speaker: Sarah Lockyer has a BSc in Anthropology from the Université de Montréal, an MSc in Forensic Archaeological Science from University College London and a PhD in Bioarchaeology from Bournemouth University. She is the Casualty Identification Coordinator for the Department of National Defence’s Directorate of History and Heritage and the Casualty Identification Program’s forensic anthropologist.

Gather at 1 pm for the meeting start at 1:30 pm at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive (Room 115).

Preceded  at 10:30 am by Genealogy: Back to Basics - Ethics & Etiquette in Genealogy.

The Computer SIG will convene at 3 pm.

24 October 2018

HSO October Meeting

The second presentation of the 2018-19 season for the Historical Society of Ottawa on Friday 26 October has Connie Gunn from Carleton University speaking on The Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa: Constructing Public Memory, 1898-1932.

As usual the meeting is at 172 Guigues Ave. and starts at 1pm.

Arthur Hawke: CWGC Beechwood

Private Arthur Frank Hawke of the Canadian Infantry 38th Bn. died of pulmonary tuberculous at the Mowat Memorial Hospital, Portsmouth, Ontario, on this date 100 years ago.

A grocer's clerk in civilian life, the 28 year old son of the late John Hawke, he attested in March 1915 and saw service in Bermuda, England and France.

Burial was in grave reference: Sec. 41. Lot 3. at Beechwood Cemetery.

Amos Walter Bonell: CWGC Beechwood

Private Amos Walter Bonell, who died in Kingston on this date 100 years ago, served with the Canadian Garrison Regiment 3rd Bn. having attested on 3 April 1916. He was a tinsmith, the son of Amos and Jane Bonell, of 78, Pretoria Avenue, Ottawa, Ont.

He had several injuries and illnesses while enlisted in Canada, and also served a term of imprisonment for desertion. Death was from pneumonia. He is interred in grave reference: 42. Sec. 22. North-West part. at Beechwood Cemetery.

22 October 2018

Sinking of the SS Kerry Head

On this date in 1940 the 825 ton Limerick registered SS Kerry Head was attacked by a German bomber. The attack, the second on the well marked neutral ship that year, was seen from Cape Clear Island near the southern tip of Ireland. The bombs hit their target. Captain Charles Drummond, my great uncle, and the other eleven crew members had their lives snuffed out— the ship and bodies lost without trace. 
Read more here and the crew list here

21 October 2018

Blog Comments

I received an email (thank you Gail) mentioning that comments are not being posted on the blog. I'd noticed none were coming in but thought maybe I was being even more uninteresting than usual! 

After return from England on Wednesday I'll see what can be done.

Advance Notice; UEL Event in Kingston

Kingston and District Branch, UEL Association of Canada invite the public to our next meeting,
on Saturday, November 24th, 1:00 p.m. in St. Paul's Anglican Church Hall - 137 Queen Street at Montreal Street.
Our speaker will be Ruth Nicholson UE, a retired educator from the Hamilton, Ontario area.
Ruth's topic is Three Loyalist Heroes. "This will cover different acts of greatness in different
time periods," says Ruth: "The American Revolution where you will meet a courier, the War of 1812 where you will meet a young spy and the beginnings of parliament in Upper Canada where you will meet an early politician. These are my three heroes: Robert Land, Isaac Ferriss and John Cornwall. Come to hear the intrigue!"
You are also invited to join with us for an optional sandwich 'n square lunch, 11:30 am for 12:00 noon. Cost $4.00 for those not asked to bring food.
All visitors with an interest in Canadian history are cordially welcome.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

The strange case of Sarah Moore (video)

Epidemics, Pandemics and How to Control Them 
A Gresham College presentation



Trafalgar Day

Today is Trafalgar Day, the celebration of the victory won by the Royal Navy, commanded by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, over the combined French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805.
In London Trafalgar Square hosts crowds of humans and kits of pigeons. Four huge "Landseer Lions"have graced the base of Nelson's column since 1867, joined recently by a red one.
When I was there earlier in the year there was a hippo seemingly standing stoically to one side between the National Gallery and the Canadian High Commission.
Love the public art that thrives in the City of London.

20 October 2018

It seemed it was going to go on forever

Recollections of the First World War.


Via the Essex Record Office and a tip from Brenda Turner.

Trends in genealogy software

According to Google Trends searches for Family Tree Maker continue to exceed those for four of the other most popular PC genealogy programs. Search volume for FTM has decreased substantially over the past five years to only a quarter that at the start of the period.
Second highest search volume is for Heredis. Based in France, and also popular in Quebec, it also shows similar declines.
I suspect the decline is due to a move to the cloud and smartphones. That's even though those apps are not as capable as genealogy software.

19 October 2018

Findmypast adds to Northumberland and Durham Burial

The largest addition to FMP this week has over 129,000 new transcript records for a total 742,734 entries in this collection for these northeastern English counties.
There's a list of over 200 parishes included, with the coverage date range at www.findmypast.com/articles/northumberland-and-durham-burials-place-list

What's DNA worth to Ancestry?

These trend lines, produced by Google Trends, show the five year evolution to the present of the number of web searches worldwide involving the term Ancestry.
The blue line is for a simple "Ancestry" search, the red for "Ancestry DNA". The values are normalized to 100 at the "Ancestry" peak.

Ancestry DNA is responsible for the growth in Ancestry since 2015. Elsewhere in the company progress is powered by fumes in the innovation tank. A decline in searches for Ancestry and Ancestry DNA since late last year is also apparent.

For the five year period the top five countries from where "Ancestry" searches were conducted were: United Kingdom (100); Australia (87); New Zealand (85); United States (74); Canada (55).

For the last 90 days they are: United Kingdom (100), New Zealand (76), Australia (71), United States (70), Ireland (62). Canada comes 6th at 54.

For the five year period for "Ancestry DNA" searches the leading countries were: United States (100), New Zealand (82), Australia (58), Canada (57), United Kingdom (48).

For the last 90 days they are: New Zealand (100), United States (95), Canada (81), United Kingdom (81), Australia (76).

Does anyone have thoughts on the prominence of New Zealand?

Documentary Heritage Communities Program 2019-2020

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) have launched the Documentary Heritage Communities Program 2019-2020 funding cycle.

For this fifth call for proposals changes will allow for greater flexibilities for projects financed through small contributions and encourage organizations to pursue projects by collaborating with other key members of the community.

The major changes include:

New maximum funding amounts for:

Small contributions: Now below $25,000 per project for up to two years; and
Large contributions: Now between $25,000 and $50,000 per project, per funding cycle for up to three years.
Additional support for organizations located in remote areas:
small contributions up to $29,999 per project;
large contributions up to $60,000 per project, per funding year;
Amendments to the list of eligible organizations to be more inclusive (specific mention of “Indigenous organizations” and “Indigenous government organizations”) and flexible (“organizations with an archival component” instead of previously “museums with an archival component”). That would include genealogical societies.


18 October 2018

Military history recognition: "Far From Home"

Since 2007 Kent residents Diana Beaupré and Adrian Watkinson have been pursuing a personal project to visit and record each First World War CEF grave in the British Isles.

The graves and memorials for 3899 First World War Canadian Expeditionary Force soldiers may be found in 872 locations within 90 counties and 9 islands across the British Isles. Many were in remote churchyards and far-flung tiny cemeteries.

Now their work has been recognized by the award of the Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division). The MSM is awarded for achievements over a limited period of time that have brought benefit or honour to Canada. They hope to receive the award in Ottawa from the Governor General early in 2019.
Find out more about the project at www.canadianukgravesww1.co.uk/ which acknowledges "The Directors and Members of British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa Canada" as Gold Sponsors.

Gail Dever at OGS Kingston Branch

The Kingston Branch monthly meeting for October has Gail Dever, well-know blogger of Genealogy à la carte, speaking on "Today's Social Media for Genealogy".
The meeting is on Saturday, 20 October at 9:30 am at the Kingston Seniors Centre, 56 Francis Street in Kingston.  Visitors always welcome.

Martin Milks Crawford: CWGC Beechwood

Private Martin Milks Crawford, born 13 June 1892 in Hull, Quebec, died 100 years ago, 18 October 1918. Son of Martin and Susan Crawford, of Cobalt West. Ont.; husband of Minnie Crawford, of 186, Gladstone Avenue, Ottawa, he served with the Canadian Forestry Corps 24th Coy.
He died of pneumonia and was interred in Lot 15. South-West. Sec. 29. 26 at Beechwood Cemetery.

17 October 2018

NHDS Awards announced

Here is the list of 21 National Heritage Digitization Strategy awards announced in Vancouver
  • Colony, Confederation and Country: Accessing the National Story Through the Lens of Prince Edward Island’s Historical Newspapers (Robertson Library, University of Prince Edward Island), Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island ($45,685)
  • The Robin Collection: Digitization, Access and Preservation (Musée de la Gaspésie), Gaspé, Quebec ($43,742)
  • Early Photographs of the Innu and Atikamekw Peoples (Université Laval Library), Québec, Quebec ($28,742)
  • Forging Fur-ways: the North West Company Fur Trade Collection (McGill University Library) Montréal, Quebec ($15,963)
  • Set of 146 Early Books in Indigenous Languages (1556-1900) (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec), Montréal, Quebec ($22,511)
  • Digitizing Past Issues of Bulletin d’histoire politique (Association québécoise d’histoire politique), Montréal, Quebec ($6,525)
  • Le Son des Français d’Amérique : Mixed Traces and Memories of Continents (Cinémathèque québécoise), Montréal, Quebec ($86,812)
  • Digitizing and Publishing Heritage Collections on Canadian History (Document Management and Archives Division, Université de Montréal), Montréal, Quebec ($81,141)
  • Discovering the Heritage of the Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario (1910–1990): A Living Memory! (Centre for Research on French Canadian Culture, University of Ottawa), Ottawa, Ontario ($86,805)
  • Digital John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir (Queen’s University Library), Kingston, Ontario ($65,033)
  • The MacGregor Collection (The Canadian Canoe Museum), Peterborough, Ontario ($9,925)
  • Digitizing Inuit Artistic Heritage (Inuit Art Foundation), Toronto, Ontario ($80,786)
  • Healing and Education Through Digital Access (Algoma University), Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario ($86,890)
  • First Nations and Métis Oral History Digitization Project (Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan), Regina, Saskatchewan ($8,700)
  • Indian History Film Project Digitization (First Nations University of Canada), Regina, Saskatchewan ($19,414)
  • The Idea of the North: Exploring Evidence of Resilience and Change (University of Saskatchewan), Saskatoon, Saskatchewan ($83,058)
  • Smoke Signals, Satellites and Servers: Digitizing the ANCS Television Archive (Sound Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta), Edmonton, Alberta ($36,744)
  • Chambermaids to Whistle Punks: The Labour and Lives of B.C. Women, 1890–1970 (Satellite Video Exchange Society), Vancouver, British Columbia ($16,098)
  • BC Gay and Lesbian Archives Audiovisual and Graphic Material Digitization Project (City of Vancouver Archives), Vancouver, British Columbia ($71,015)
  • What Becomes Canada: Digitizing Narratives of Exploration, Settlement, and Contact (Vancouver Island University Library), Nanaimo, British Columbia ($17,015)
  • Native Communications Society Digitization Project (Northwest Territories Archives), Yellowknife, Northwest Territories ($86,796)
The image above is a word cloud based on the text above showing an objective view of the awards.

37% of the funding is for projects performed by Quebec-based organizations, 24% by Ontario-based. 37% of the funding is directly relevant to indigenous interest. No funding is awarded to organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Nunavut, Manitoba, or Yukon.

Invented Fantasies – Using Social Media to Talk About Pseudoarchaeology

Four BIFHSGO members enjoyed the first in the 2018 series of Carleton University Shannon lectures. The second is this Friday, 19 October, an intriguing presentation by Steph Halmhofer (consultant archaeologist/bioarchaeologist with Bones, Stones, and Books)


Skeletons of giants in British Columbia. People using psychic abilities to find proof that the empire of Atlantis included Nova Scotia. A cult in Quebec proposing aliens invented life on Earth. These sound like something you would find Dana Scully and Fox Mulder investigating in The X-Files. But I’m not Dana Scully, I’m an archaeologist. So why am I talking about aliens and giants? Because pseudoarchaeology, which includes the topics I’ve mentioned above, is a real concern facing both archaeologists and non-archaeologists. These theories can be found in books, television shows, and on social media but their negative impacts reach far beyond these pages and screens.

With rising popularity in social media and a currently combined total of around 440 million monthly users on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it’s not difficult to imagine how quickly pseudoarchaeological theories can spread online. But just as we use our knowledge and trowels, social media can also be a powerful tool in the archaeological toolkit, a toolkit I want to share through this lecture. We’ll talk about what pseudoarchaeology is, focusing largely on Canadian examples, and how you can identify it. We’ll talk about the racism of pseudoarchaeology. We’ll also talk about how various media platforms are used to spread pseudoarchaeology. And finally, we’ll talk about how archaeologists and non-archaeologists can use social media to talk about and de-bunk pseudoarchaeology.

Dunton Tower (room 2017), from 1:00-2:30 PM. Reception to follow.

Co-presented by the Department of History and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

James Wood: CWGC Beechwood

Born 7 September 1896 in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Sapper James Wood, service No:2014172, of the Divisional Signal Training Depot, Lansdowne Park, died on 17 October 1918 at Ottawa's St Luke's Hospital. He had attested in Cleveland, Ohio, on 2 August 1918.

He had been assigned to go with the Siberian Expeditionary Force.

His grave reference is Lot G.36. Sec. 29 at Beechwood Cemetery.

16 October 2018

Building and Sharing Your Family Tree

This Thursday 18 October, 2018 at 7:00 pm the Ottawa Public Library hosts a 2 hour session Building and Sharing Your Family Tree.

There are many options for building and sharing your family tree: paper or electronic forms, family tree software, online family trees on sites like Ancestry or My Heritage, and collaborative family tree websites such as WikiTree.  Genealogist and BIFHSGO member Leanne Cooper will explore the key features, pros and cons of each, along with things to consider when making the choice.

The session is at the Greenboro Community Centre, 363 Lorry Greenberg in Meeting room A.

Register here.

OPL Genealogy Drop-in

Tuesday, 16 October, 14:00 – 16:00
Ottawa Public Library - Nepean Centrepointe, 101 Centrepointe Dr, Ottawa, ON K2G, Canada

Drop in anytime from 2-4pm to work on your family tree, share research strategies, & discover what resources are available for your research. Specialists from OPL and the Ontario Genealogical Society will be here to answer questions & help you get the most from library resources.  Bring your laptop, or tablet too! All Welcome.

Perth & District Historical Society October Meeting

The Society meeting on Thursday, 18 October is "The Richmond Military Road"

PDHS welcomes back local author and historian Larry D. Cotton.  Cotton’s presentation for this month will stray from his noteworthy series, “Whiskey and Wickedness” to talk about the Richmond Military Road, for which the area is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. 

The Richmond Military Road, built by the British Government in 1818, was a copy of the Roman model utilized to conquer and hold large parts of western Europe and England for centuries.  So, why was it built here? How adaptable was it to the wilderness of Upper Canada?  What was its impact on the Perth Military Settlement created in 1816?  Cotton also brings other points into the conversation.  The Rideau River Settlements and the construction of the Rideau Canal were integral components of the Richmond Road Project.  How were they linked together to facilitate the construction of 200 kilometers of canal through an unbroken wilderness? 

Sustaining the new military settlements of the Towns of Richmond, Franktown, Perth, Lanark Highlands and Ramsay was an important concern of this Project.  Distilleries and breweries played a major part.  The compelling mystery of the “whiskey tunnels” in the Town of Perth will be explored.  What about the problems of excessive drinking?  The “Nagging Wives Act” relegated miscreants to the public stocks in front of the Bathurst District Court House where they were punished by the passing public for their crime.  A local doctor told his patients with drinking problems that they might “spontaneously combust.”  Half pay officers were provided with “beer money” every three months as part of their pension allotment.  This led to a lot of trouble in town including half a dozen duels.  Why weren’t the laws prohibiting such affairs invoked? 

Larry Cotton has a Bachelor of Arts from Laurier University; Bachelor of Education from Queens University; Masters in Urban & Regional Planning from Queens; Diploma – Municipal Clerk-Treasurer from Georgian College.  He has been a land use planner for almost 40 years, serving as county planner for Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry; Planning Director for the Town of New Tecumseth, and also the Township of Springwater in Simcoe County; Deputy County Planner for Renfrew County.  Larry also taught part-time at Georgian College on Municipal Government; Municipal Law, and Environmental Law, and has facilitated municipal non-profit housing projects for seniors across Ontario. 

Everyone is welcome at Perth's Royal Canadian Legion, home of ‘Hall of Remembrance’, 26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, 7:30pm (Toonie Donation).

15 October 2018

Findmypast adds Dorset Baptism and Burial Transcripts

Findmypast now has 576,439 new Dorset baptism transcriptions entries between 1538 and 1978, covering more than 300 parishes.

The Dorset burials transcriptions collection has 438,196 entries  spanning the years 1538 to 1995 and covers more than 330 parishes across the county.

Don't overlook transcripts at the Dorset Online Parish Clerks with over 1.75 million individual records, updated as recently as 14 October 2018.

Peak Influenza Pandemic in Ottawa

October 1918 was a deadly month. Out of 365 mentions of the word influenza found in the Ottawa Journal and Citizen newspapers that year 167 were in October.

The peak number of the City's influenza pandemic deaths occurred on Tuesday 15 October 1918, 100 years ago today. A total of 62 deaths were recorded in the Ontario civil registers for Carleton County. The Notre Dame cemetery register show the remains of 30 buried, Beechwood Cemetery 16. All but six died of influenza or pneumonia; five of those six were infants.

For Ottawa a short Bytown Pamphlet #63, The plague of the Spanish Flu: the influenza epidemic of 1918 in Ottawa, by Jadranka Bacic, gives an overview of the local situation. At that time the outbreak was attributed to Canadian troops returning from Europe.

Now, according to The Horror at Home: The Canadian Military and the “Great” Influenza Pandemic of 1918 (PDF) it appears the influenza spread to Canada from the United States during the last weeks of September 1918. American military recruits on their way to support the allied offensive in Europe and delegates to a religious convention in the Eastern Townships were factors.

Notable was the number of deaths in the 20-35 age range. Typically in Ottawa there were about half as many deaths in that age range as deaths of infants less than 6 months of age, but in October 1918 there were 5.5 times as many.  A 2013 article posits that the increased mortality resulted from an early life exposure to influenza during the previous Russian flu pandemic of 1889–90.

Ottawa's mayor at the time was Harold Fisher who closed schools, theatres, reduced hours stores could be open; even closed churches. He realized the city's hospitals were inadequate. His statue outside the Ottawa Civic hospital recognizes his contribution to its construction on the then outskirts of the City, known at the time as Fisher's Folly.

Sadly the same foresight was not evident when the site of the new hospital near Dow's Lake was selected.

14 October 2018

Genetic Genealogy YouTube Videos

A few days ago Maurice Gleeson posted a collection of videos from Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2017. In previous years these have been metered out in digestible chunks over a few weeks. This time they've all come together and it's up to you to pace yourself to avoid indigestion.

These GGI2017 videos are copyrighted to the presenter and should only be used for personal study.

DNA is Dynamite - How to Ignite your Ancestral Research (Michelle Leonard)
This will be a talk for beginners giving an overview of the basic information required to understand the three main types of DNA testing available for ancestral research.  Michelle will explain how each test works and talk you through the first steps you should take once your results arrive.  She will provide easy to follow hints and tips on how to get the most out of those results and apply them to your ancestral mysteries.  Practical real-life examples will illustrate how DNA testing can be used to connect with previously unknown cousins and confirm the accuracy of your family tree.

Y-DNA & the Ireland yDNA Project (Margaret Jordan)
Margaret is one of the Administrators of the Ireland yDNA Project which has over 6000 members with reported Irish ancestry. This presentation will discuss the evolution of the Ireland yDNA Project and the data which we are now able to extract from it. The talk will look at the major Y-DNA haplogroups found in the project and some of the smaller ones as well. This presentation will show how this Y-Geographical Project links up with relevant Y-Haplogroup Projects, other Y-Geographical Projects and Irish Surname Projects, which are all run through FamilyTreeDNA.

The Genetics of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade (Hannes Schroeder)
Hannes is Assistant Professor of Archaeology at the University of Copenhagen and one of the lead investigators on the EUROTAST project which explores the genetics of the TransAtlantic Slave Trade.  Hannes will discuss the work of the project, why it was started in the first place, what we have learnt, and implications for future research. The project focused on three themes: Origins, Life Cycles, and Legacies, which led to further detail on the slave trading system, but also helped demonstrate how slavery fundamentally shaped the cultural and biological experiences of people of African descent around the world.

The Power of Mitochondrial DNA – a Swedish perspective (Peter Sjolund)
Mitochondrial DNA, the DNA of your mother’s mother’s line, is often underrated by genealogists but has proved very useful for genealogical research in Sweden and neighbouring countries. Peter is one of the founders of the highly successful Swedish Society for Genetic Genealogy and will present success stories from Scandinavian genealogy to show you how to use mtDNA effectively in your own genealogy and how to find your prehistoric relatives.

Autosomal DNA Through the Generations (Roberta Estes)
This talk will explore DNA through the ages - literally! What might you be able to do with DNA matching if you had 4 generations to work with? What could you learn? Looking at how DNA is inherited through multiple generations of the same family is the perfect way to learn about the principles of inheritance. It might also pique the interest of your children or grandchildren – what a fun project to undertake with them.

Autosomal Tips & Tools at Family Tree DNA (Roberta Estes)
Roberta is one of the most eminent genetic genealogy educators in the world. In this talk, she will cover tools to help you interpret your autosomal DNA results. Did you know that Family Tree DNA provides customers with 9 different tools for autosomal DNA matching and analysis? Did you know that you can use these in combination with each other for even more specific matches. Not only that, but within these tools there are lots of ways to utilize the various features. This talk will explore several different scenarios and different approaches to solving brick walls.

Match Making in Clare using Y-DNA & atDNA (Paddy Waldron)
Lisdoonvarna in County Clare is still famous for its annual matchmaking festival.  In previous centuries marriage in Clare and elsewhere was always an economic rather than a romantic transaction.  Paddy will talk about some of the surprising trends in arranged marriages revealed by genetic genealogy.  As co-administrator of the Clare Roots project, Paddy meets and greets members of the project when they visit Clare and introduces them, not to prospective spouses, but to long-lost cousins in Clare. Most of these meetings have provided new lessons about DNA matching which will feature in his talk.  Another type of match making that genetic genealogists engage in involves matching up (a) the oral traditions passed down through the generations, (b) the archival sources used by traditional genealogists and (c) the DNA evidence that often reconciles them, but sometimes refutes the oral tradition.  Paddy will include many examples illustrating these points, using both Y-DNA and autosomal DNA.

Autosomal DNA testing for Beginners (Donna Rutherford)
Understanding DNA results can be confusing and complex. If people can learn how to read and understand their results, they will get the maximum benefit from their investment in a DNA test. Donna’s talk will breakdown what a DNA test is, how it works, and how to interpret the results. This will be an easy to understand overview that beginners can feel comfortable attending without any previous experience with DNA. Experienced users most welcome, and hopefully they may pick up some tips and tricks too.

What do your Y-DNA Results mean? (Maurice Gleeson)
Y-DNA is extremely useful for learning more about a particular surname and where it came from. It can reconnect you with cousins on your direct male line, identify a place of ancestral origin, and even tie you in to specific genealogies in the ancient annals. In this talk, Maurice will take you through your Y-DNA results and help you understand what you are seeing. The next step will be to join the appropriate surname projects, haplogroup projects, and geographic projects. Maurice will discuss how Project Administrators analyse your results and how this can benefit your own genealogical research.

Introducing DNA for family research (Ann Marie Coghlan)
Why should we add DNA to our personal genealogy toolkit? Ann Marie explains the basics of DNA testing and how we can use genetic genealogy research in understanding not only our own personal family history but also our community history. This is an excellent talk for complete beginners who have never tested before, and a great refresher for those who already have.

Icelandic roots and identities: Genealogies, DNA, & personal names (Gisli Palsson)
Gisli is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Iceland. He will be talking about the genealogical database The Book of Icelanders and the DNA testing of the people of Iceland. Interestingly, these have helped reconstruct the genome of a runaway Caribbean slave who became an Icelandic merchant in the early 1800s. Gisli will discuss the quest of his descendants for roots and identity, a common desire for many people interested in family history. Genetic research shows that there are significant Irish signatures in the genetic makeup of modern Icelanders, thanks to Norse travels through Ireland. Gisli will compare and contrast the approach to (and interest in) genealogy in Iceland and Ireland.

Making the Most of Autosomal DNA (Debbie Kennett)
Autosomal DNA testing is a useful tool for the family historian. It can be used to confirm existing genealogical relationships and to reunite us with our long lost cousins. This talk will cover some of the basic concepts of autosomal DNA testing and look at strategies for working with your results. We will also look at some of the third-party tools and resources that are available to help you.

Prehistoric genomics at the Atlantic Edge (Dan Bradley)
It is now known from ancient genomic investigation that massive migrations were part of cultural transitions in European prehistory. It is interesting to discover if Ireland and Portugal underwent these massive migrations. This lecture explores the evidence for such migrations and discusses the implications of the results for understanding the origins of modern populations and the languages they speak.

Using Y-SNP Tests in Surname & Family Projects (John Cleary)
It is 4 years since FTDNA introduced their new Y chromosome sequencing test, the Big Y. This talk will review how this popular test has transformed surname projects in this time, and how the ‘SNP tsunami’ has upended and transformed the shape and size of the Y chromosome haplotree.  Strategies and useful utilities for making sense of the results of Big Y testing will be presented and discussed through a variety of cases where breakthroughs have been made, or new questions answered, about families, names and their origins.

Family Trees with SAPP - Automated from STRs, SNPs & Genealogies  (Dave Vance)
How can you continue building your family tree when your ancestors run out? Dave Vance explains how he is automating the process whereby STR markers, SNPs, & known genealogies can be used to build a "Mutation History Tree" within the context of a surname project. Soon every surname project administrator will be able to build such trees for the larger groups within their surname project. And for the individual genealogist, this means that for particular ancestral lines, the lineage will extend beyond your Brick Wall using DNA markers instead of named ancestors, potentially back to the origin of the surname itself.

Three days of GGI2018 presentations start in Dublin this Friday.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

We will find you: DNA search used to nab Golden State Killer can home in on about 60% of white Americans
A search could potentially allow the identification of about 60% of white Americans from a DNA sample—even if they have never provided their own DNA to an ancestry database.  By combining an anonymous DNA sample with some basic information such as someone’s rough age, researchers could narrow that person’s identity to fewer than 20 people by starting with a DNA database of 1.3 million individuals.

3 Reasons to Have Personal Genealogy Software and How to Choose
One person's view

Statistics Canada promises
It's an agency known for issuing quality data — but issued well after it's of much public interest.  According to the Globe and Mail article Statistics Canada promises more detailed portrait of Canadians with fewer surveys there's a vision of the first quarter [data] on March 31st. Having just finished reading Everybody Lies, Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are, by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz that doesn't seem that far fetched even for a government agency.

Inundated by plastic waste: companies named

RCI calls out the top brands for garbage in Canada, in order

1. Nestle (pure life bottled water)
2. Tim Horton’s (fast food chain)
3. MacDonald’s (fast food)
4. Starbucks (coffee)
5. Coca Cola.

Measuring the varied sentiments of good and bad words

Charles Henry Stearns: CWGC Beechwood

From the Ottawa Journal, 15 October 1918, page 14

Sergeant Charles Henry Stearns, bandmaster of the Second Depot Battalion, died in a local hospital Monday (14 October) after an illness (pneumonia) of ten days.
He was born in Ottawa nearly 30 years ago, and was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Franklin Stearns, of 174 lsabella Street.
(He attested on 15 October 1917)
Sergt. Stearns had always taken a keen interest in music, and had been with the G. G. F. G. and 43rd D. C. O. R. bands.  He will be remembered as one of the organizers of the Ottawa Concert Orchestra, a splendid musical body, and because of hie experience In musical matters was authorized to raise a band for the depot here. His efforts were most successful and although the number of his men was limited, his band won warm praise at the Central Canada exhibition and in other engagements. It was known as the 77th Battalion Band of the Second Depot Battalion.
Previous to hls enlistment he was with Mr. Louis Fournier, Ottawa representative of Gagnon Bros. He was a popular young man of sterling qualities, and his death caused the keenest regret both In business and musical circles.

His body lies in grave reference: Lot 71. Sec. 37 at Beechwood Cemetery.

13 October 2018

Findmypast adds England & Wales, Electoral Registers 1920-1932

This is a collection of 107,815,803 persons eligible to vote.

The collection currently holds records for 1920-1932 with many missing after 1926 and very few for 1932. There are many duplicate entries.

In addition to first and last name you can optionally search or filter by year, constituency, polling district or place, additional keywords, county and country. The filter for constituency includes counties alphabetically to Nottinghamshire.

Information in the original register images includes a code for voting qualification, most commonly:

HO – Qualification through husband's occupation
O – Occupational qualification
R – Residence qualification

New from Pen and Sword: Criminal Children

New this month of genealogical interest from Pen and Sword, Criminal Children, by Barry Godfrey and Emma Watkins, shows changing ideas about the way children should behave – and how they should be corrected when they misbehaved – between 1820 and 1920.

"They describe a time in which ‘juvenile delinquency’ was ‘invented’, when the problem of youth crime and youth gangs developed, and society began to think about how to stop criminal children from developing into criminal adults. Through a selection of short biographies of child criminals, they give readers a direct view of the experience of children who spent time in prisons, reformatory schools, industrial schools and borstals, and those who were transported to Australia.

They also include a section showing how researchers can carry out their own research on child offenders, the records they will need and how to use them, so the book is a rare combination of academic guide and how-to-do-it manual. It offers readers cutting-edge scholarship by experts in the field and explains how they can explore the subject and find out about the lives of offending children."

12 October 2018

Victoria Cross Archive

BIFHSGO member and chair of OGS Quinte Branch, Terry Buttler, emailed to let me know about the Victoria Cross Archive, The Facts Behind the Men, Behind the Medals. 

Compiled by UK historian Tom Johnson it contains 1,356 books, “some very small and others very large.”

Terry tells me the only location where this collection exists in the world is in Canada at the Marilyn Adams Genealogical Research Centre and the Seventh Town Historical Society in Ameliasburgh, Prince Edward County.

It's one of the places highlighted in 10 Places to Get a Taste of County History by the Prince Edward County tourist folks, that that doesn't include the not to be missed wineries!

Thanks for the tip Terry. I always appreciate receiving information on this type of little known collection.

Journal of One-Name Studies: Oct-Dec 2018

The Guild of One-Name Studies originated and is still significantly focused in the UK, witness the events organized and metric format of the journal.
Yet many of the 2,899 members live elsewhere, witness the first three main articles in the most recent Journal issue.
Pamela Lydford, from Australia, recounts the life of Sir Harold Thomas Lydford (1898 - 1979) from her small(ish)  Lydford/Lidford one name study.
Albertan Wayne Shepheard writes on Surname Origins - Why? When? When Then?. He explains why he believes climate change, in particular during the last millennium had a substantial impact on surnames coming into common use.
David Pike, from Newfoundland, documents his experience in Promoting the Pike One-Name Study with Google Ads. Google wasn't entirely straightforward in promoting the free offer of advertising on AdWords he received yet the lessons from the experience, especially the impressions and clicks, helped elucidate the distribution and interest in the name.  David found that care is needed in selecting keywords and phrases to avoid fishing in the wrong pond (pike). AdWords might be worth considering in promoting a genealogical society in a more modern way than notices in newspapers, flyers and posters on notice boards.

11 October 2018

How do you feel about the use of your DNA for non-genealogical purposes?

Maurice Gleeson has posted a survey to the Genetic Genealogy Ireland group. The survey was introduced by:

The Golden State Killer case revealed how DNA & Genealogy Combined can potentially be used to identify serial rapists and serial killers. US Law Enforcement Agencies used DNA & genealogical data supplied by genealogists (publicly available on Gedmatch) to generate an investigational lead to a possible suspect. They then used routine police procedures to acquire a “discarded DNA sample” from the suspect in question and established that his DNA matched DNA found at the crime scenes. The suspect was subsequently arrested, further confirmatory forensic DNA testing was done (and chain of custody established), and he currently awaits trial.
Perhaps you'd like to add your input, even if you're not Irish. Maurice is OK with this. There is a question where you could self-identify as Canadian.


The survey would have been even more valuable if it also had questions related to some of the possible downsides of DNA testing. For example:

1. Are you concerned about the possibility that you or a relative might suffer discrimination in obtaining insurance or a job based on DNA test results?
2. Does the possibility of discovering suppressed aspects of your family history, such as non-paternity, adoption or half-siblings, worry you?
3. Are you concerned that an authoritarian regime might use results of a DNA test as a basis for discrimination?

BIFHSGO October Meeting

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Establishing Mitochondrial DNA Signatures of Early Immigrant Mothers: Successes and Cautions  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario

Do you know that group projects are establishing the ancestral mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) signatures of early North American immigrants? Learn from Annette Cormier O'Connor about their methods, successes, and limitations, using the immigrants to New France as exemplars.

Most Canadians’ family trees trace back to an immigrant mother who passed on her mtDNA; you use it each time you need energy to move or think, because mitochondria are our energy factories. To trace the source of your mtDNA in a matriline, start with your mother, her mother, and so on, back to an immigrant mother.

Family Tree DNA’s projects bring together descendants whose entire mtDNA code (signature) is tested and expert leaders who verify matrilines to group signatures under each immigrant’s name. An immigrant’s signature is confirmed when two of her documented descendants have: 1) matching mtDNA; and 2) matrilines converging on two different daughters. Confirmed signatures provide biological proof of documented matrilines and help those with record gaps to find their immigrant mother.

About the speaker

Annette Cormier O’Connor, MScN (Nursing, U Toronto), PhD (Medical Science, U Toronto) is a retired professor and passionate genealogist.

Annette's passion for genealogy was ignited 10 years ago, during Lesley Anderson’s “Rattle Them Bones” course and subsequent courses at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. During a 2013 quest to find the immigrant mother who passed on her mtDNA to her, she completed an NIGS course in genetic genealogy and joined several FTDNA immigrant projects, whose lead experts generously shared their knowledge. She was so moved by this experience that she that she now volunteers with Cornwall’s Genealogy Centre members to learn how to use mtDNA testing to confirm their documented matrilines or to bridge record gaps to find their immigrant mother.

Using Local Family History Societies in Your Genealogical Research  (Before BIFHSGO Education Talk)
9:00 am to 9:30 am

Marianne Rasmus will share tips on why and how to use local family history societies in your family history research. She will share some of the resources available and concrete examples of how this often-over-looked tool can be used to flesh out ancestor’s stories and break down brick walls.

About the speaker

Born and raised in Vancouver, Marianne Rasmus spent most of her life in BC, experiencing life on Vancouver Island, in BC’s north and in the Fraser Valley. But when the opportunity for a mid-life adventure came, Marianne and her husband, Bill, took the plunge and moved to Ottawa in 2013.

After reluctantly taking Canadian History as a “filler” course in college, Marianne discovered an interest and passion for history she never expected. That interest took on new meaning, and some might say became an obsession, when she began her family history journey in 2008 and started unearthing long-forgotten stories in both her and her husband’s family trees. Marianne and Bill have been married for almost 35 years and have two sons and two granddaughters.